Homeschool is a beautiful and frustrating thing. I homeschooled my grown boys for elementary school and now I’m homeschooling my granddaughter/daughter. She is in 4th grade and we’ve been doing this since 1st grade. Kindergarten was an eye-opening experience for me on how the public school system has changed just in the short time my boys have been out of it. Seven years earlier, my youngest son attended the same school for fourth grade that my daughter went to for kindergarten. It’s one of the top rated schools in our district and seven years ago I was very happy with it. Unfortunately, we had several incidences with my daughter that left me a bit rattled.
On one occasion, my daughter had a small accident and was sent to the nurse’ office without an escort. While she was gone, the teacher moved the class to the cafeteria. My daughter returned to the classroom to find no one there. She knew that they would go to the cafeteria eventually, and she knew the way there, so that’s where she went and fortunately found them. Another time, the teacher took the kids to a small park across the street from the school. My daughter and several of her friends slipped away and took a “shortcut”. They got in trouble for that, but the fact that they were able to slip away unnoticed was more than a little disturbing. Also disturbing was the time my sister picked my kindergartener up for me, and was not questioned by anyone. She walked up, took my little one by the hand, and walked away with her. No one said “Boo” to her. My sister had never been to that school before and there’s supposed to be a protocol for anyone other than a parent picking up. I had instructed my sister on what to do, but apparently the protocol is not enforced. I was fuming about that one. There were a couple more incidents like that and when I finally spoke to the principal about it, she was more than a little indifferent. I spoke to the teacher as well, and as much as I like her, her answer was a cop-out in my opinion.
I don’t care how many students you have, you make sure you have them all before you move them and you don’t let kindergarteners walk the halls by themselves. What if some bully of a 4th or 5th grader happened upon her and decided to be mean. I shudder when I think of how many times I could have lost my daughter due to negligence on the part of the staff at her school. Those experiences coupled with some of the education techniques I did not agree with, led to our decision to homeschool. It’s been an interesting journey. We have a lot of freedom and I am challenged on a daily basis (she does not like math), which is a good thing. It keeps me on my toes. I love the look in her eyes when she finally gets something that’s challenging her and I want to cry when it takes her four hours to do one math paper and I’m prodding her the whole time. I am always looking for ways to not get burned out as well as ways to challenge my 4th grader and nurture her creative spirit. If you have any suggestions, I am very open to hearing them.
Pinterest is a fun place to find ideas. What do you do to keep your frustration level down and the “love to learn” level high?